From pioneer to Wirtgen Group

November 1961 marks the beginning of a remarkable story of success. Reinhard Wirtgen, who is only twenty years old at that time, has incredible drive and sets up his own haulage company with a single truck.

More than fifty years on, the Wirtgen Group employs a staff of 6,700 worldwide. The one-man business has grown into a corporate group of machine manufacturers offering an extensive range of solutions for road construction and opencast mining.

1961 - 1969: Pioneer and entrepreneur

The pioneer lays the foundation as an entrepreneur in road construction

Reinhard Wirtgen worked very hard to set up and build a contracting business. He started out with small haulage jobs and then specialized in road construction using a concrete breaker. With his staff of ten, he continuously improved three of these machines in a small workshop in Windhagen.

As he and his crew successfully completed an ever-increasing number of jobs, concrete demolition became very quickly known throughout Germany as a method used in road rehabilitation.

1970 - 1979: The contracting firm grows

An innovative contracting business makes a name for itself

At his brand headquarters in Windhagen, Reinhard Wirtgen systematically expanded his fleet of large milling machines to as many as 100 units. He and his staff, which had meanwhile grown to 150, operated the machines in the contracting industry throughout Germany and beyond.

As WIRTGEN successfully completed an ever-increasing number of rehabilitation jobs using the milling process, milling was finally included in the invitations to tender as a standard process. At the end of the 1970s, WIRTGEN succeeded in making the technological leap from hot milling to cold milling, which significantly increased the economic efficiency of the milling process. It signified a pioneering step in WIRTGEN’s core business area.

The hot recycling process was developed as a second, additional road rehabilitation method. Reinhard Wirtgen introduced it into the market with great determination – here again, using machines built in his own workshop that were part of his own contracting fleet. The international development of the company began when Reinhard Wirtgen set up the first subsidiary companies outside of Germany.

1980 - 1996: From contractor to machine manufacturer

Specialized machine manufacturer with four product divisions

Reinhard Wirtgen divested himself of the contracting division and focused on the production of machinery for the rehabilitation and new construction of roads and for opencast mining.

Reinhard Wirtgen systematically expanded his product portfolio at the production plant in Windhagen to include four specialized product divisions. Substantial improvements were made in the cold milling division, enabling Wirtgen to offer the broadest range of machines in the industry. In 1981, WIRTGEN built the first surface miners for opencast mining and routing operations in hard rock, which opened up an entirely new field of application. From 1987 onwards, Wirtgen introduced cold recycling as a new and economical method of road rehabilitation. In 1989, Reinhard Wirtgen incorporated the slipform paver division into his company to offer solutions for the construction of concrete roads and poured-in-place concrete profiles. In addition to professionalizing his business as a specialized machine manufacturer, Reinhard Wirtgen began expanding his sales and service activities abroad.

1997 - 2001: From a single company to the WIRTGEN GROUP

The WIRTGEN GROUP: A corporate group for road technologies

Jürgen Wirtgen and Stefan Wirtgen took over the management of the company in 1997. What had been a vision for Reinhard Wirtgen now became reality under his sons: by combining the three strong WIRTGEN, VÖGELE and HAMM brands, they succeeded in offering customers the full range of mobile machines for road construction.

Developing WIRTGEN into a corporate group began with the successful integration of VÖGELE, the road paver manufacturer based in Mannheim. HAMM, the renowned roller manufacturer based in the Upper Palatinate town of Tirschenreuth, was integrated into the WIRTGEN GROUP in 1999. Expanding the sales network by setting up fully owned subsidiaries created a strong presence for the corporate group on a global scale. Production capacities and efficiency were increased at the same time by making high investments in the three main production plants in Windhagen, Mannheim and Tirschenreuth.

2002 - 2005: Global market leader in road construction

Between 2002 and 2005, the WIRTGEN GROUP achieved global market leadership in mobile road construction equipment. All three brands – WIRTGEN, VÖGELE and, HAMM – continued to focus on expanding their core competencies.

WIRTGEN GmbH

WIRTGEN GmbH continued to strengthen its leading market position with the transition to a systematic model range design in the small milling machine division and consistent expansion of its product range of cold recyclers and slipform pavers.

Joseph VÖGELE AG

With the “dash-1” model range, the first road pavers of identical design, Joseph VÖGELE AG developed and launched an entirely new generation of road pavers. Introducing two small paver models, a mobile feeder and additional paving screeds, VÖGELE offered an even more comprehensive portfolio of machines for economic asphalt paving.

HAMM AG

The new products developed by HAMM AG won several awards for their innovative product design and ergonomic standards. With the 3000 series of single-drum compactors, HAMM offered a complete range of machines for earthwork construction.

NEW SUBSIDIARIES AND EXPANSIONS

The WIRTGEN GROUP expanded existing subsidiaries during this period and set up additional ones in new markets. Opening an assembly plant in China, the WIRTGEN GROUP laid a major cornerstone for its business activities in the “Middle Kingdom”. The corporate alliance significantly strengthened customer relations by expanding its strong local presence on a global scale.

The power of innovation of each of the main production plants, combined with a continuous expansion of their joint sales and service network, formed the basis for the WIRTGEN GROUP to become global market leader in mobile road construction equipment.

2006 - 2010: New potential

The WIRTGEN GROUP paves the way for new growth

The WIRTGEN GROUP entered the market of materials processing in order to open up additional future potential in fields other than road construction. Two lines of business were created: “Wirtgen Road Technologies” and “Wirtgen Mineral Technologies”.

Building of the second line of business began in 2006 with the successful incorporation of KLEEMANN GmbH, a renowned German manufacturer of mobile and stationary processing plants. Successively integrating KLEEMANN into the global sales and service network of the WIRTGEN GROUP, and building a new main production plant in Göppingen, enabled the WIRTGEN GROUP, by 2010, to strengthen the “Mineral Technologies” line of business, putting it on a sound footing for the future.

In 2006, the WIRTGEN GROUP achieved the ultimate breakthrough in opencast mining when an Australian company was the first to use surface miners as the principal mining technology for mining iron ore. WIRTGEN GmbH launched the 4200 SM to expand its range of products for large-scale opencast mining.

2011 - 2013: Focus on innovation

The WIRTGEN GROUP is geared to eco-friendly technical advancement

With its technical innovations, the WIRTGEN GROUP not only optimizes its range of products, but also follows the call for eco-friendly technologies.

The new large milling machine generation of WIRTGEN GmbH, comprising the W 150, W 200,
W 210, W 220 and the W 250 versions, shows an impressively high performance and is very easy to handle. It is also equipped with the "intelligent emission control" eco-friendly drive technology – WIRTGEN GROUP's response to the more stringent emission regulations that have been in place since 2011. In addition, in its new WR 240i the construction machinery manufacturer has developed a machine with a pioneering performance and economic efficiency for cold recycling and soil stabilization. The WIRTGEN slipform pavers SP 15 and SP 25 are equally impressive when it comes to reliable concrete paving. With the new MT 3000-2 VÖGELE is launching a feeder with a conveying concept that is fully geared to maximum performance. In addition, the newly developed VÖGELE "dash 3" pavers are regarded as a generation of machines that set worldwide standards, true to its motto, "Less consumption – fewer emissions – lower costs". The new "H Series" manufactured by HAMM is an all-rounder for earth-moving applications, and also features the eco-friendly "intelligent emission control". The KLEEMANN Mobirex EVO systems MR 110 and MR 130, the new generation of mobile impact crushers with its completely innovative material flow concept, is attracting global attention.

Innovative Solutions for Road and Mineral Technologies

Presenting 29 new products at bauma 2013, the WIRTGEN GROUP demonstrates its innovative force in the Road and Mineral Technologies business segments.

With six world premieres, WIRTGEN is ringing in a new era in road construction. Be it new construction or rehabilitation, road building companies are ideally equipped to meet any challenge with the two new-generation cold recyclers and soil stabilizers as well as slipform pavers.

Maximum process reliability, lower fuel consumption, greater ease of operation: that is the new "dash 3" generation from VÖGELE. Eleven world premieres among the road pavers and extending screeds can be seen live at bauma 2013.

With world premieres in the H, HD+ and HD CompactLine product families, HAMM rounds out its range of high-quality vibratory compactors and tandem rollers.

The new MOBICAT EVO line of mobile jaw crushers sets new standards in the contractor market. The three world premieres from KLEEMANN boast high efficiency and versatility.

Competent local presence

The WIRTGEN GROUP is renowned for its outstanding product range and excellent customer service. In addition to technical innovation, the WIRTGEN GROUP continues to invest in the optimization of the global service network and the production facilities, both in Germany and in the growth markets of Brazil, China and India.

2014 - present day: worldwide growth

The WIRTGEN GROUP grows -
BENNINGHOVEN completes the product range

In 2014, the WIRTGEN GROUP grows by incorporating another technologically leading company – BENNINGHOVEN GmbH & Co. KG, a highly successful and traditional manufacturer of asphalt mixing plants, ideally complementing the Group’s existing product range.

By integrating BENNINGHOVEN, the WIRTGEN GROUP has become a one-stop supplier of overall solutions from cutting-edge brands, covering all processing steps from the crushing of rock and the mixing of asphalt to the paving, compaction and rehabilitation of all manner of roadway structures.

Extension of the sales and service network worldwide

The WIRTGEN GROUP is further expanding its sales and service network and investing in its plants abroad. This will further hone the Group’s response to its customers’ needs on every continent.

In spring 2015, the completely new factory in China is inaugurated – with a size of 33.000 m² the production site offers enough space for the manufacturing of products exactly tailored to the Chinese market.

At the same time in 2015, the production site in Pune / India is expanded from 100.000 m² to 128.000 m². This expansion allows for production of VÖGELE pavers and KLEEMANN screens for the local market in Pune, in addition to HAMM rollers.

In Australia, a new headquarters is erected in Perth. Additionally, regional locations from Brisbane to Melbourne and Auckland/New Zealand are expanded. This further optimizes the availability of staff and faster availability of materials on the Australian continent.

Further expansion includes the new subsidiary in Iran, a new service center in France, a new location for the WIRTGEN WINDHAGEN sales and service company in Germany etc.